I’ve been thinking about how Room Salons are not talked about much in this country. It’s just this BIG social issue with BIGGER consequences that most people…
sweep far away under the rug.
Yet what makes it most intriguing is how the majority of the men who participate in said “prostitution”…
I don’t want you to think that I am writing this as some sort of an attack towards you due to our history but there are so many points in your post that are incredibly misinformed that I really can’t resist.
Why do you think that room salons aren’t talked about much in Korea? You even mention that your students have mentioned them to you in a classroom setting. They might not be a typical conversation topic between you and your Korean and western friends and coworkers, but that doesn’t mean that this sort of thing is not an issue with Korean people who are much more likely to be affected by this or caught in a discussion about it than you, due to you being a foreigner. Your line of thinking is that since you don’t hear much about it (even though you wrote later on that you, in fact, do,) it must not be something Korean people care about. This is the same line of thinking that comes up when westerners complain about Korea not having any good music and only producing kpop hits, when there’s actually a great underground indie rock, metal, and EDM scene in Korea; they are just unaware of it because it’s not shoved in their face in every convenience store or cell phone shop they walk by, and they lack the motivation or knowledge to research more into it. Which is kind of what I am seeing you doing in this post. “It must not be an issue in Korea because I don’t hear a lot about it.”
I am no expert in Korean politics but the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family which have significant influence on the government have been dealing with this issue for a long time. There are Korean feminist groups. The government has actually tried to shut some room salons or massage parlors down and the female workers actually fight to keep their jobs.
This is the part of your post that really bothers me, and brings me back to my first paragraph: “Someone needs to start speaking up against this. Soon.” Again, you’re totally writing off all of the Korean people who have tried to change the overwhelming societal acceptance of this kind of thing, through social or legal means, because you don’t know anything about it and haven’t bothered to do a bit of research. Your post would have been fine if you just complained about how you don’t morally agree with room salons, or don’t think your boyfriend would go to one but are still grossed out by their presence, but by continually bringing up the fact that Korean people don’t seem to care or haven’t done anything to address the issues that affect their own society (both claims are false) you’re negating all the work that Korean people have done and making yourself look extremely ignorant.
I am mainly reblogging this because I know there are people on here that could write a much better response to your post than I just did and I wanted to bring it to their attention. Enseoulment, et al. Not to put any pressure on anyone.
Personally, I believe The Grand Narrative would be the best place to start if you want to educate yourself about prostitution in Korea and what has been done to address it. I recommend this site because it’s in English, well written and thoroughly researched, and the focus of the site is Korean gender issues. Perhaps some other users can recommend some other helpful resources.
so aptly pointed out, just because you cant understand the dialogue and action happening around this issue, doesnt mean it’s not happening. more than the grand narrative, there are also